Israel freezing eastern Jerusalem construction

Israel is freezing the construction of 1,500 housing units in an eastern Jerusalem neighborhood.

The newspaper Yediot Aharonot reported the freeze in Har Homa following last week’s visit there by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who had approved the first construction.

Unnamed planning officials identified as being “familiar with the details of the plan” said the program is not being advanced due to political sensitivity, according to Yediot.

On his visit to Har Homa the day before elections, Netanyahu said building in Har Homa “was a way of stopping Bethlehem from moving toward Jerusalem.”

He added, “We will continue to build in Jerusalem. We will add thousands of residential units and withstand all pressure as we continue to develop our eternal capital.” — jta